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Stack of rectangular shortbread cookies on a wood cutting board
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5 from 53 votes

Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Classic Shortbread Cookies are an easy cookie recipe that is super buttery! You can make these into any shape and they are the perfect shortbread cookie for all year but especially for Christmas.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time18 minutes
Chill Time2 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 48 cookies
Calories: 89kcal
Author: Dorothy Kern
Cost: $8


  • 1 ½ cups (339g) unsalted butter softened (3 sticks)
  • 1 cup (113g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (372g) all-purpose flour


  • In a large bowl with a hand or a stand mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and salt, then mix until smooth.
  • Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until completely mixed.
  • If dough is too sticky to roll at this point, chill for 20 minutes.
  • Otherwise, divide dough in half. Roll each half out to 1/4-inch thick between two pieces of wax paper or parchment paper.
  • Chill at least 2 hours or overnight. Chilling the dough lets it rest and adds to the overall flavor of the shortbread.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • You can cut your shortbread as desired, using cookie cutters for shapes or circles, but I use a ruler and a pizza cutter to cut squares that are approximately 1-inch by 2-inches. Prick each with the tines of a fork for decoration.
  • These don’t spread, so you don’t need to space them more than an inch or two on the cookie sheets. Bake for about 14-18 minutes (depending on size of cookie and thickness) until they start to get golden around the edges.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.



How do you know when shortbread is cooked?
The easiest way to tell when the shortbread cookies are done is to check the edges. They should be lightly golden around the edges.
Can you use salted butter in the recipe?
Yes, just omit the added salt in the recipe.
Can you freeze shortbread cookies?
Shortbread freezes great! Allow the cookies to cool and then store them in a freezer-safe container. They will keep in the freezer for up to three months.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 177IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg